Gallery: Travel photographer Austin Mann inserted iPhone 12 Pro camera for testing


Every year, travel photographer Austin Mann shares an in-depth look at the latest iPhone camera improvements. This year, Mann has put the iPhone 12 Pro to the test in Montana’s Glacier National Park, giving it a look at the triple-lens camera and LiDAR sensor that performs in conditions ranging from bright and sunny to dark and icy .

The first thing to note here is that the camera upgrade of the iPhone 12 Pro is mainly driven by software improvements as well as LiDAR scanners. The iPhone 12 Pro Max offers a much larger wide camera sensor, but it is not yet available.

Mann writes that night mode support for ultra wide sensors is one of the biggest changes this year:

I like shooting super wide with any camera, so when the iPhone 11 Pro introduced an ultra wide lens last year, I got stoked. While I really love the perspective, I found that the quality of Ultra Wide was not up to my standards when shooting in medium-low-light conditions, so I only used Ultra Wide in bright, daylight conditions.

Elsewhere, Mann praised the lock exposure adjustment, meaning that the exposure adjustment does not return to auto mode whenever a picture is captured:

An example of a correct use for something like this is shooting in the snow. Most cameras determine their auto exposure based on the average of the light in a scene, meaning that if there is a ton of bright light in your frame (such as from snow), the meter will average it and the bright parts default. Will make it more gray. To compensate for this, most photographers adjust their exposure from 1 to 2 stops to get closer to the real white in the frame.

As a LiDAR scanner, Mann states that he has used portrait mode with night mode to capture the picture below, and LiDAR helped lock in the subject.

As you can imagine, there were definitely some camera shake and movement with this unstable setup, but thanks to a little night mode computational wizardry, better OIS, faster ISO and of course LiDAR, Esther was still fast and Amazingly accurate color.

LiDAR did a great job here – I later realized that I never played with focus, it was closed to his face the whole time. Also, making a precise depth map around the furry hood looks like it would be really complicated, but the iPhone 12 Pro did a great job.

In the end, however, Mann says that if you’re serious about iPhone photography, you should wait for the iPhone 12 Pro Max next month:

The iPhone 12 Pro is a solid camera, and thanks to a bunch of new digital technology, I found that it’s a bit stronger than the already great iPhone 11 Pro – but if you’re serious about photography with your iPhone , So wait for iPhone 12 Pro Max. This seems to be the most significant leap in iPhone camera hardware we’ve experienced in years, and is only three weeks away.

As always, Mann’s complete breakdown is well worth reading and can be found on his blog right here. The review includes some tips and tricks for iPhone photographers, a desire for future iPhone camera hardware, and more.

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